FinPro Member Update – February 2020

February 29, 2020

Presidents Message

Hi everyone,

No doubt you have your sleeves rolled up and are deep in budget workings! I urge you to make sure you try and keep some work/life balance over this very busy and often stressful time.

You will see further on in this Update that there are 20 new members to FinPro this month. Welcome aboard! This is fantastic, both for FinPro and also for the sector as we welcome these new staff across many different work experiences and with many new ideas to share. I look forward to hopefully meeting a number of you at our upcoming seminar on 21 February 2020.

Please make sure you get along to this seminar if you can. It will include an update on the proposed Local Government Act 2020. I’m lucky to be representing FinPro on the LG Act Project Control Board which has been established to oversee the strategic approach to implementation of the Local Government Act 2019 (LG Act 2020) across the local government sector. The Board has now meet 3 times over December/January and is busy working behind the scenes with LGV on the implementation plan. You will hear more about this at the PD Day and we will ensure that we also provide regular updates to our members.

In late January the FinPro Executive met to discuss plans for the upcoming year for FinPro. The day was a great opportunity to welcome three new members to the Executive and also to reflect on what we want to achieve in 2020. Our vision is to be the peak body for LG Finance Professionals in Victoria. The Executive and myself are certainly committed to that and also to putting in steps, advocacy, training, tools and networking opportunities to make your life easier (and more enjoyable) in the sector. You will see the outcomes of our discussions over the 12 months as we look to add some enhancements to our offerings whilst maintaining the events and programs which our members continue to provide such positive feedback to us (PD Days, Conference and Leadership Program) about.

Cheers, Bradley

New Members

We welcome the following new members this month to FinPro:

  • Warren Henderson – Financial Services Coordinator, Mildura Rural City Council
  • Erin Haughton – Financial Accountant, Mount Alexander Shire Council
  • Ragav Thapar – Fixed Asset Accountant, Whitehorse City Council
  • Emma Camilleri – Financial Accounting Officer, Latrobe City Council
  • Rachael Mayes – Management Accountant, Latrobe City Council
  • Tiara Goodier – Graduate Accountant, Mornington Peninsula Shire
  • Zakia Afroz – Financial / systems Accountant, Moira Shire
  • Rindayi Matienga – Manager Finance, Wangaratta Rural City Council
  • Gemma Cameron – Financial Accountant, Macedon Ranges (Maternity leave replacement)
  • Ryan Kienhuis – Accountant Financial Services, City of Greater Bendigo
  • Hugo Lee – Assistant Accountant, Stonnington City Council
  • Tracy Brennan – Accountant, Gannawarra Shire
  • Thushari Gunathilaka – Finance Analyst, Wyndham City Council
  • Michelle Valencia – Finance Analyst, Wyndham City Council
  • Catherine Wongso – Finance Analyst, Wyndham City Council
  • Tanya McGuickan – Corporate Performance Officer, Whitehorse City Council
  • Tim Au – Financial Planning and Analysis Accountant, Whitehorse City Council
  • Dennis Bastas – Manager Business & Financial Services, Knox City Council
  • Lorena Valencia – Senior Accountant, Banyule City Council
  • Tegan Finch – Graduate Accountant, Melton City Council

We farewell

  • Stephen Bigarelli, City of Ballarat – retiring from full time work as Manager Financial Services on 28 Feb 2020
  • Geoff Cockram, Stonnington City Council – retiring from role as Director Corporate Services
  • Aaron Currie, Rural City of Wangaratta, has left Council
  • Kevin Ayre, Manningham City Council – moved to Community Housing Limited (CHL) after 15 years in Local Government
  • Jonathan Kylvedis – Sector Director VAGO – moved to the private sector

If you have any news to share with the FinPro membership please forward this to Gab.

FinPro Executive Members

President – Bradley Thomas (Hepburn Shire Council)

Executive Officer – Gab Gordon

Vice-President: Chair Technical Committee – Tony Rocca (Maroondah City Council)

Technical Committee members:

    • Danny Wain (Monash City Council)
    • Kristy Stephens (Bass Coast Shire)
    • Liz Rowland (Moreland City Council)
    • Mark Montague (Yarra City Council)
    • Nathan Morsillo (Greater Bendigo City Council)
    • Vishantri Perera (Yarra Ranges Shire Council)

Vice-President: Chair Professional Development committee – Binda Gokhale (Wyndham CC)

Professional Development Committee members:

    • Belinda Johnson (Southern Grampians Shire)
    • Charles Nganga (Casey City Council)
    • John Brockway (Surf Coast Shire) – also leads the FinPro Mentoring Program
    • Kim Jaensch (Frankston City Council) – also leads the FinPro Leadership Program


FinPro Technical Committee News / Updates

Proposed Local Government Act 2020

We anticipate that the Proposed Local Government Act 2020 will be passed through Parliament this month. In preparation for this we have included a 45-minute session during our upcoming Professional Development Day on 21 February 2020 where delegates will hear from a LGV representative on the progress and possible implications of the passing of this Act on the sector.

Once the Act is passed there will be a lot of work to be done in ensuring all councils meet the implementation requirement of the Act. FinPro will be working with LGV to assist the sector by putting together guidelines for councils on the stages of implementation of the Act. We will be calling on member involvement to take part in Working Parties to work through various parts of the Act in the coming months.

New Lease standard AASB 16

Hopefully all of you are tracking well with the implementation of the new Leases standard, AASB 16. In helping assess your preparedness, HLB Mann Judd are encouraging finance professionals to access their leases series which provides a breakdown of AASB 16 into smaller components and assist organisations in understanding and applying the key concepts of the standard.

If you are looking for some extra guidance the link to the LGV Standards implementation paper is also a very useful tool and was developed in consultation with our own members.

Regional Finance Groups

Whilst FinPro offers training and networking opportunities for all finance professionals working in the Victorian Local Government sector, our regional groups also provide additional opportunities for training and networking. These are more informal sessions which really benefit from input and support from the Council’s in each area. Please get in touch if you think there are issues or opportunities which can be brough up at these groups.

There are 6 regional groups in Victoria, which together, cover all of the state. They are:

  • Central Victoria – Contact: Nathan Morsillo, Greater Bendigo City Council
  • South West Victoria – Contacts: John Brockway (Surf Coast Shire) and Belinda Johnson (Southern Grampians Shire)
  • South East Victoria – Contact: Kim Jaensch, Frankston City Council
  • Metropolitan – Contact: Tony Rocca, Maroondah City Council
  • Western Metropolitan – Contact: Wei Chen, Wyndham City Council
  • Northern Metropolitan – Contact: Tania O’Reilly, Banyule City Council

Each of these groups meets at least once per year as well as at the commencement of the FinPro Annual Conference, which this year, will be held at RACV Cape Schanck on Wednesday 21 October 2020.

The next meetings for the above groups are:

  • Central Victoria – 27 March, hosted by Greater Bendigo City Council
  • South West Victoria – 2 March, hosted by Corangamite Shire
  • South East Victoria – 19 March, hosted by Mornington Peninsula Shire
  • Metropolitan – TBC
  • Western Metropolitan – TBC
  • Northern Metropolitan – TBC


Other items of interest

LGV Report on Emergency Management

Local Government Victoria have published a report on Emergency Management across Councils. Titled Resilience and Emergency Management, it is in particular worth noting Stage 3 which will have specific strategies which may have costs for Local Government next financial year.

IBAC / Inspectorate and other agencies

As many of our members will be aware, there continues to be a number of investigations ongoing by IBAC / Inspectorate and other agencies – for example:

Is it realistic to have a Work / Life Balance?

One of our Executive group recently came across this interesting podcast on work / life balance and work / life integration following a discussion on Radio National. If you are on your way home in the car or out for a walk one day – worth a listen. It is called – Work Life Balance is dead, hello integration.


Job Vacancies

FinPro is happy to place advertisements on our website for any finance related positions our members councils are advertising. To place details of any jobs on our website, please send the following details through to our Executive Officer, Gabrielle Gordon at [email protected]

  • Job Title
  • Website link
  • Dot points giving main details of the position eg. salary or band and main details
  • Contact person for any questions
  • Closing Date

Currently we have the following positions advertised on our website

  • Financial Accountant, Cardinia Shire – closes 26.2.20
  • Management Accounting Coordinator, Stonnington City Council – closes 16.2.20


FinPro Yammer Forum

Many FinPro members are part of the FinPro Yammer Forum. This online discussion platform gives an opportunity for members to raise topics for discussion, ask questions, seek out policies and also find out what is going on in the sector.

If you are not already a member of the forum, please contact FinPro and we can join you up – email gab at [email protected]

If you are a member, we encourage you to get online and seek the assistance of your fellow LG Finance Peers.


PD Hours

Wanting to update your CPD Hours Register for CPA Australia or AANZCA? For a list of all the professional development events held by FinPro since 2015 please refer to our website.



Make sure you sign up to FinPro – Victorian Local Government Finance Professionals, on LinkedIn to stay in contact with current past members of FinPro.

FinPro Vision Mission and Values

In late January the FinPro Executive met to discuss plans for the upcoming year for FinPro. During the day they also revisited the FinPro Vision Mission and Values to ensure they were still relevant for the organisation.

The final copy of the FinPro Vision Mission and Values for 2020 onwards is as follows:

FinPro Vision:

  • To be the peak body for LG Finance Professionals in Victoria

FinPro Mission:

  • Advocate (on behalf of our members)
  • Educate (members)
  • Communicate (both with our members and with other organisations)
  • Innovate (share new ideas and encourage continuous improvement)
  • Collaborate (provide networking opportunities and work with other organisations)

FinPro Values: To be adhered to by the FinPro Executive Committee and expected of FinPro Members

  • Respect – we will treat others as we wish to be treated
    • We will be accepting, supporting everyone’s worth and dignity, regardless of background, abilities or beliefs
    • We will be considerate, always being aware of and honouring others’ rights and feelings.
    • We will be attentive, being ready to learn from others
    • We will be encouraging, demonstrating concern for the growth and development of others
    • We will be appreciative, valuing the input, guidance and support of others.
  • Integrity – we will operate with integrity in all aspects of our work and dealings
    • We will be honest in our dealings with each other
    • We will take responsibility for our actions
    • We will respect and recognise ethical frameworks
    • We will adhere to ethical accounting standards
  • Accountability – we will take responsibility for our own actions
    • We will do what we say we will do
  • Participation – we will give everyone an opportunity to be involved.
    • Seek various ways to consult with members
    • Run Professional Development Days
    • Provide opportunities for all members to participate
    • Provide opportunities for all sector partners to participate

A copy of these is also included on the FinPro Website

FinPro / VAMA History

FinPro (formerly VAMA) has a long history of providing technical updates and networking opportunities for finance professionals working within the sector. Established over 30 years ago, the organisation has grown from a couple of finance managers sitting around a table sharing stories and information, to an organisation with over 550 members from all councils in Victoria.

Our plan over the next 12 months is to put together a history of our organisation. We are keen for any of our members who have any photos, stories or information they feel would be of value to share. If you have anything at all please contact Gab and let her know – [email protected] or 0400 114 015

Treasures like this will certainly be covered in the history:


FinPro Executive Team 2014 in full uniform as the cast from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ at the 2014 FinPro Conference theme dinner – Friends or Foes!

From left back: Brett Exelby, Shane Marr, Gab Gordon, Danny Wain, Ange Marshall, David Filmalter

From left front: Marc Giglio, David Woodhams, Greg Hall

Note: we were the Friends, not the foes!

Thank-you to our 2019 Conference sponsors:

Platinum Sponsors – Commonwealth Bank

Gold Sponsors – LG Solutions

Silver Sponsors – BankWest
CT Management
Curve Securities
Genesis Accounting
Inlogik Pty Ltd
IT Vision
Laminar Capital
MAGIQ Software
Midstate CreditCollect
National Australia Bank
Recoveries & Reconstruction
Nelnet International

Sector Partners: VAGO

Program Partner: Vision Super

Conference App Sponsor: Imperium Markets

Some of our wonderful sponsors have put together a case study showcasing what services or products they offer – to view these case studies just click on the sponsor as listed above!


To Contact FinPro:

Gabrielle Gordon
Executive Officer – FinPro
E: [email protected]
M: 0400 114 015